Federal tenant protection measures expire this month, but New York extended a separate statewide moratorium for another month through August.
New York housing courts are preparing to reopen shortly after the state moratorium was lifted to face-to-face hearings, but it could take many months, and most likely longer, to clear the backlog on the cases. Even before the pandemic, it could take up to a year for an evacuation case to be decided.
Before the outbreak, New York landlords filed between 140,000 and 200,000 eviction lawsuits each year against renters who often found themselves in court without legal counsel and struggled to stay in their homes.
While most cases were settled without a court-ordered eviction – 9 percent of cases in 2017 resulted in an eviction, the city said – tens of thousands of New York City residents lost their homes each year, while the rest were added with their names "Tenant Blacklists" that are shared among landlords
Across the country, more than seven million households are behind schedule with unemployment and lost wages, including about 500,000 in New York state, according to the census. Tenants across the country owe an average of $ 5,600 in unpaid rent, according to a report by Moody’s.
"Tenants have lived with extreme fear of whether they will be able to stay in their homes," said Cea Weaver, a tenant rights attorney and strategist for the Housing Justice for All Coalition. “It was psychologically traumatizing for the tenants and especially for all tenants who are parents. Tenant protection was crucial in saving human lives. "
Ms. Mangal never wanted to become a landlady. For years she had lived with her boyfriend in the upper apartment of the house that belonged to her mother as just one other tenant, even though she paid the "daughter discount" of $ 900 a month. Her mother, Ahutey Mangal, 70, raised $ 1,600 for the first floor apartment and $ 800 for the basement apartment.